It was many years ago that I met K. In my memory, she came up to me in one of the marble-floored halls of a turreted building on the east bank of the University of Minnesota, took my hands in hers, and said, “I’m K. Who are you?” That memory has to be wrong, but … Continue reading Andes Mint #28: My magical friend K
Once, somewhere in this world, not long ago and not far from where you are reading this, it was the middle of the night on a quiet block in a city of canyons. Everyone who lived in the tall brick apartment buildings that lined either side of the street was asleep. Sleeping children. Sleeping grownups. … Continue reading Andes Mint #27: Chapter One
Zip codes in which you have lived: 13354, 02114 (past), 55408 (current), and 05346 (also current). Apartments: six. Houses: four. Bathroomless one-room cabins in Dummerston, Vermont: one. Children, two of whom are now as tall or taller than you: three. Neurotic cats: one. Hyper dogs who remain meth-head-like no matter how much you exercise them: … Continue reading Andes Mint #25: By the Numbers
Pleasantville, New Jersey, 1955 – Ellen Bass I’d never seen a rainbow or picked a tomato off the vine. Never walked in an orchard or a forest. The only tree I knew grew in the square of dirt hacked out of the asphalt, the mulberry my father was killing slowly, pounding copper nails into its … Continue reading Andes Mint #21: Poem of the Week, by Ellen Bass
Get up at 4:00 a.m., make and drink a cup of strong coffee, get dressed, wheel your roller bag out the dark path to the dark car, head to the airport, get on the first of two small planes that land you in the White Plains airport at noon. Rent a car. Tap in the … Continue reading Andes Mint #19: Kingsley
Credo I believe in tenderness. I believe in lying on your porch swing on a summer night and watching the passersby. I believe in eating as many Oreos as you want. I believe that climbing down the mountain is harder than hiking up. I believe in standing in the doorway watching your small children as … Continue reading Andes Mint #11: Credo
She was fifty-five when you were born. Hers is the first face you conjure at dawn when you bow your head to your clasped hands. Hers is the scent that you tracked through a Hallmark card store until you found the old lady wearing it, bent over the Get Well cards, who looked up when … Continue reading Andes Mint #5: and she drove like a bat out of hell, too.
What you remember from the summer you turned 20: How it felt to behold the snow-capped Rockies rising up out of the distance, far higher and far more jagged than you, a girl from the foothills of the Adirondacks, knew mountains could be. How it felt to stand in the living room of a kind … Continue reading Andes Mint #4: Rocky Mountain High